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Appalachian Funeral Services
Saturday April 16th, 2022
1:00pm - 2:00pm

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Funeral Service

Appalachian Funeral Services
Saturday April 16th, 2022

View Details

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Dr. Robert Mitchell Rigdon

Dr. Robert Mitchell Rigdon, 91 of Fort Walton Beach FL, passed away on April 8, 2022.    

He was born in Topeka Kansas on January 30, 1931, to Robert William and Dorothy Mitchell Rigdon. He graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1953 with a BA in Bible, Western Carolina University in 1963 with a MA in Guidance and Counseling and from the University of Georgia in 1968 with a Doctor of Education. He married Evelyn Marie Cooksey July 24, 1953.


He served as pulpit minister of the Church of Christ in Waynesville NC, from 1953 to 1957; and Sylva NC, from 1957 until 2002.  Additionally, he taught at Western Carolina University in several roles from 1963, retiring in 1993, as Professor of Psychology and Counseling.  In 1980, he received the Paul A. Reid Distinguished Service Award as the professor who has made the greatest contribution to the general welfare of the University and who has enhanced its reputation as a regional university of higher education.  He moved to Fort Walton Beach in 2002 and served as an associate minister at the Fort Walton Beach Church of Christ until 2018.  He had various radio and television programs throughout his years of ministry.  He had a passion for missions and was active in Ukraine, Russia and South Africa. 


Dr. Rigdon is survived by his wife, Evelyn of Fort Walton Beach FL; his daughter, Sherilyn Rigdon Barron and her husband Glenn Barron of Fort Walton Beach; son, Greg Rigdon and his wife Halcyon Rigdon of Wake Forest NC; and four grandchildren, Kristen Graham and her husband Brett Graham of London England, Chad Barron and his wife Justine Barron of Hendersonville NC; Ariel Slonim and her husband Jonathan Slonim of New York City, NY; Adren Rigdon of Tampa, FL; and 7 great grandchildren.   He is preceded in death by his father, Robert William Rigdon in 1973; his mother, Dorothy Mitchell Rigdon in 2001; his sister, Barbara Maxine Shaffer in 1996. 


A Funeral Service is scheduled for 2:00PM, Saturday, April 16, 2022, at Appalachian Funeral Services in Sylva, NC.  There will be a period of visitation at 1:00PM preceding the service.  A private burial will follow at Parris Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ukrainian Refugee Relief through Sunset International Bible SIBI, 3723 34th Street, Lubbock, TX 79410 or online (www.sibi.cc) at Sunset International Bible Institute.  Specify the Global Relief Ministry.  Or you may contribute to Eastern European Mission at PO Box 55245, Hurst, TX 76054 or online at EEM.ORG.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Rigdon, please visit our flower store.


We want to refer to him as Bob because he was a great friend, and we want to call him Dr. Rigdon because we respect him so sincerely. As our minister and teacher, Dr. Rigdon has had the most lasting influence on our spiritual growth. As the man who hired me to do odd jobs around his house in Sylva just so he could put a little money in the pocket of a "starving student" with a wife and infant, and having us in his home to share meals and stories, Bob was a dear and cherished friend. We learned many great truths from his pulpit, his Bible classes, his interactions with others, his compassion for all, his treatment of us, the way he used his great sense of humor, his marriage and parenting, his longing for all to be saved, and even his patient love and care for a not-so-friendly dog.
We grieve and celebrate with Evelyn and the family for our wonderful teacher Dr. Rigdon and our even more wonderful friend, Bob.
We love you all. May God comfort you with precious memories of this precious man.

Dave and Judy Marshall Apr 15 2022 7:46 PM

Evelyn, Sharon and i are so saddened with the passing of your beloved Bob, He was such an amazing man. We will forever treasure our time together in t he mountains. Bob was one of the most influential people that i ever met. Evelyn, Bob is now with Jesus.

Sharon and Patrick Keogh Apr 14 2022 11:30 PM

So thankful that Bob was instrumental in my family becoming members of the church of Christ in Sylva dating back to my grandparents, Hazel and Shelton Bradsher . It was a honor to have known Bob . Mrs. Evelyn, you and the entire family are in my prayers .

Ginger Bradsher Johnson Apr 14 2022 8:50 PM

Rigdon Family,
So very sorry to hear this. Bob along with my daddy taught my husband to drive. Back in 1996. He was such a great man. Always loved hearing him preach at Church of Christ in Sylva and seeing him smile. I don't think I ever saw him when he didn't have a smile. Prayers for your family.
Margie Pettigrew Stephans and Joe.

Margie Stephans Apr 14 2022 5:27 PM

Evelyn, Sherry and Greg,.
We are so sorry to hear about Dr. Rigdon. I grew up in Sylva and have wonderful memories of your family. He performed our wedding ceremony in 1975. We are thinking of and praying for you.
Wilbur and Donna Hawks Blake

Wilbur and Donna Blake Apr 13 2022 10:06 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Robert Rigdon

Randy and Brenda Crawford Apr 12 2022 7:28 PM

Evelyn and family, sending Thoughts and prayers for you all .

Linda Hall Stiles Apr 12 2022 6:29 PM

I am so blessed to have known Bob my entire life. So many great memories as a member of the Sylva COC. He and Evelyn taught me many life lessons. Thanks to God for his long life of service to our Lord.

Julie Albert Apr 11 2022 8:38 PM

Bob was one of my favorite professors at WCU. He was a mentor in the guidance department and contributed greatly in my journey in education.

Deborah Brown Apr 11 2022 1:05 PM

Evelyn and family I loved Dr Bob with all my heart. He has been my greatest spiritual mentor and baptized my husband and my son. He will reap great heavenly rewards for his faithfulness and service to our Father God. I hope special angels carried him home.

Rege McCauley Apr 11 2022 12:27 PM

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